Before his tragic death, Cory Monteith completed work on a pair of movies: All the Wrong Reasons, where he plays a department store manager whose fidelity to his wife is tested and McKanick, where he plays a drug-addicted street hustler who is sent to prison for seven years on murder charges.
And given his very public struggles with addiction, it should come as no surprise that Monteith felt very passionately about bringing this story to life. "He wanted to do it so badly," McKanick director Josh C. Waller tells The LA Times. "He was very vocal about his past, and said he wanted to tap into things from his youth that he hadn't been able to use as an actor yet."
"He didn't say it was a cathartic experience, but you could sense it," Waller added.
Historically, films that feature the final performance of a now-deceased celebrity have struggled to walk the very fine line between celebration and exploitation. A fact Waller is keenly aware of.
"It's tricky, because you know there's a group of people that want to see the movie because it's his last film -- but by no means does anybody want to exploit the tragedy," Waller said. "I want people to see the movie, because Cory deserves that. People would ultimately see that he had a lot more to offer artistically, and it's a shame that this happened because now he can't explore that."
McKanick, which does not currently have distribution, was recently submitted for consideration to the Toronto International Film Festival, which is held in September. Heller has yet to hear whether it has been accepted.
Check out a clip from the actor's final film, HERE.